While most of us like having money, saving money and spending money, only some people want to take it further into money management. And that rarely involves your personal savings.
Finance as a career is about dispensing, utilising and safeguarding monetary funds in huge sums with long-term goals. This can be in the area of public finance, referring to the financial dealings of our state and related government agencies, or corporate finance that provides funds for business activities.
If you’re interested in money, we’ve got a great value proposition for you – a scholarship. Score one, and you’ll save on your tuition costs, laptop, plane tickets and all the study expenditures you can imagine. There are also the priceless benefits like internships, management programmes and a secure career prospect upon graduation.
What offerings characterise the scholarships of financial organisations, and scholars of finance? Read on.
You might expect that scholarships from financial institutions only sponsor Business or Economics degrees. That is far from the case, as most of these organisations have a broad, long-term outlook. They firmly believe that it is a variety of experience that leads to sound decisions, financial or otherwise, and consequently accept many different study paths.
Some examples include:
· The MAS Undergraduate Scholarship is tenable for 4 years of study in any discipline (with the exception of Medicine, Dentistry and Architecture) at any reputable university, in Singapore or overseas – from the United States and United Kingdom to Japan, China, Germany, India. Language courses are supported if they earn credits that count toward the final degree.
· GIC is open to discuss any path you may take, from finance to engineering to the arts. They believe that “the diverse range of courses trains the mind in a host of disciplines and cultivates a diversity of perspectives among our GICians, which is critical for GIC to thrive” – and they certainly walk the talk!
· As the OCBC Scholarships are a way for them to give back to the community, they accept applications for any degree. Past scholars have studied subjects as diverse as International Political Economy, Computer Engineering and Medicine.
A Fast-Paced, Ever-Evolving Industry
In Southeast Asia, Singapore has been leading the way when it comes to fintech innovation. We are home to more than 600 fintech firms, and our banking sector has a total asset size of almost US$2 trillion.
Hence, to be in finance is to be always on the frontlines. This industry is always evolving, always changing and always dynamic – and it has to be, to keep up with the rest of the world. Constant improvement is not just expected in the finance sector, it is completely necessary.
Opportunities will continue to abound in this industry in the post-Covid world, as the MAS-SFA-AMTD Fintech Solidarity Grant, was launched on 13 May 2020 to support cashflow and growth strategies for the future. There is also the S$125 million care package for the financial and fintech sectors that helps companies support workers, enhance operational readiness and resilience, accelerate digitalization and boost capabilities. These packages and growth stimulus mean that the financial arm of Singapore is set to continue moving up, up and up.
Financial organisations believe in starting their scholars early. The MAS Undergraduate Scholarship comes with an 8-week internship with MAS where you will be assigned a project in a specific department, so you can get a “feel” of the organisation as soon as possible. Upon completing your degree, you will be placed in a functional area within MAS, where you will receive comprehensive training and build greater depth of knowledge and skills.
In the same vein, GIC scholars intern with the company in their second year of university, and join the GIC Professionals Programme (GPP) upon graduation. The programme is specifically tailored for fresh graduates starting out in investment management, and includes training, hands-on rotations, and mentorship opportunities.
These organisations also emphasise job mobility, rotating their scholars through different positions and departments. IRAS Scholars talked about how they moved auditing to tax to even automation and computing.
The Public Trust
Scholars we interviewed emphasised again and again how they were honoured to be safeguarding not their money, but the country’s finances. They were motivated and disciplined because they knew exactly how important their mission is.
In some cases, their jobs involved protecting Singapore from monetary fraud through reviewing fund statements and financial data. In others, they developed policy and technology to keep our funding safe and secure through difficult periods or attempted hijacks.
There is no doubt that a career in finance is rewarding on more levels than just the monetary one.
If you’re balancing the dollars and cents of your future, we assure you that a financial scholarship is a good asset to have!
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